iCLA’s New Data Science Program

iCLA’s new Data Science Program will begin in Fall 2021. 

Data science has become essential in developing skills in the broad and integrated approach of a liberal arts education. iCLA’s new elective courses in Data Science will enhance the expertise students acquire in their major area of study. The Data Science module at iCLA teaches you to apply data analysis tools, make statistical decisions, and use techniques of data visualization to convey conclusions. The practical knowledge of these analytic methods as well as the hands-on programming experience acquired can be directly utilized in any field of interest.

Data science is in demand and experts in the field of data science have become indispensable to industries, government entities, and other organizations.

Data Science Program at iCLA

Why Data Science?

During the 19th and 20th centuries, the foundations of traditional existence and thought were destabilized by revolutionary new schools of scientific, economic and philosophical developments. The rapid growth in science and technology saw global society struggling to keep pace. The cause for disparity in this socio-technological phenomenon is the difference in time required for the development of social constructs with that of technology, the later proceeding at a much faster rate. For instance, the paradigm of science and technology which led to development and deployment of lethal nuclear weapons took only a few decades. However, more than half a century later, society continues to grapple with nuclear weaponry’s staggering power and catastrophic consequences. There is little doubt that such technologies have been instrumental in the shaping of modern history.

The 21st century is no exception; global society now faces similar challenges in keeping up with technological advancements. However, new technologies entering our lives are impacting all facets of life, affecting how we behave, think, purchase, or even vote. The likes of Facebook and Twitter have gone from being mere communication facilitators to transforming the workings of business, politics, education and the arts, to name a few, on a global scale. The locomotion of this phenomenal technological influence on the individual and greater society is data. The abundance of data and affordable technologies is driving the field of data science, the science of big data.  IBM (2020) defines data science as a multidisciplinary approach to gaining practical insights from the ever-increasing volumes of data gathered and created by today’s organizations. As has been seen with the automobile, the light bulb and vaccines, data science will undoubtedly play a major role in shaping how life is lived in the future.

Data Science at iCLA

Here at iCLA, we believe it is important to prepare our students for this rapidly changing, data driven society. To create a more informed, advanced and equitable society, the younger generation must be trained in understanding, assimilating, interpreting and communicating information within the medium of data. Therefore, data science has become essential in developing skills in the broad and integrated approach of a liberal arts education, helping better prepare young minds to cope in a changing and increasingly interconnected world.

In designing our Data Science program, the “Liberal Arts” philosophy of iCLA curriculum has been maintained, making it accessible to all majors. The Data Science module at iCLA places an emphasis on enhancing the knowledge students acquire in their major areas of studies. The aim of the module is to have students gain practical know-how of statistical data and analytic methods. The Data Science module first facilitates students’ understanding of various data forms. This understanding will then allow students to effectively gain meaning through the skills of visualization, summarizing and the critical analysis of data patterns. Importantly, the Data Science module will equip students with the ability to effectively communicate the aforementioned skills.

Students who wish to pursue a career or higher degree in data science can extend their data science studies and enroll in advanced courses in machine learning and deep learning.

The Data Science module will become an essential and exciting aspect of learning at iCLA, not simply a course to earn credit points or satisfy a curious mind. The field of data science is fuel for the 21st century, allowing those informed to access a lucrative career and directly participate in changing the world.